Makri Gialos is 35 km far from Sitia and 29 from Ierapetra. The name Makri Gialos means “long beach”, which indeed it is the long sandy beach with crystal clear, shallow waters, is perfect for children and non-swimmers, and further out for more experienced swimmers. The beach is lined with a good variety of tavernas to suit all tastes, the fishing port being the most picturesque part of the village.
From the port, there is a boat which leaves each morning for the beautiful island of Koufonisi, returning late afternoon. Makri Gialos has a very good suply of shops, tavernas and watersport facilities and attracts visitors of all ages. From Makri Gialos you can visit also Monastery of Kapsa.
The excavations brought to light a minoan villa. In the same region a villa from the Roman period has been excavated.
A few years ago Makrigialos was a little harbour with a few storehouses. The local people (who in that time used to live in the surrounding villages in and around the mountains) used to store up and then, export their goods, like olive oil, wine, raki, sultanas, carobs beans, corn, and live animals. Around this time, there were only a few families living in the area and a few men, spending the night while they were fishing.
There weren’t many roads for transfers, because the land is very mountainous. It wasn’t until after the last war and between the 50s – 70s that the government started building roads. Also, during these years, most of the local population moved to the big cities in Crete, Athens, and other Greek cities. A large number of them also went to Germany and to Australia for work.
Today the resort of Makrigialos has a population of around 1000 people who come mainly from the villages of Agios Stefanos (Saint Stefano) and Pefki (Pine trees). Makrigialos consists of two settlements, Makrigialos and Analipsi. The village has grown very fast between 1980-1995.
The two beautiful villages of Agios Stefanos and Pefki are 7 km from the sea and are 420 m above sea level. Both villages are now connected by a new asphalt road. There are still some very old people living there.
Surrounding Makrigialos are several mountain villages steeped in history with narrow winding streets, old and beautifully renovated stone houses encircled by Geraniums, Bougainvillea, and vines. Lemon and Orange trees too numerous to count and of course the occasional goat or donkey being led through the streets.
On the Afendis Stavromenos mountain top of 1500 m. you can enjoy a fantastic and unforgettable view of the eastern Crete area, Ierapetra, Agios Nikolaos, Elounda and all surrounding islands.